Latest Blog Posts

<p>Asa Butterfield in &quot;Hugo,&quot;&nbsp;NBR&nbsp;winner for best picture of the year</p>

Asa Butterfield in "Hugo," NBR winner for best picture of the year

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Hugo' leaps into the Best Picture race with National Board of Review win

Martin Scorsese also takes Best Director; George Clooney and Tilda Swinton nab top acting honors

Not so fast, "The Artist." After Michel Hazanavicius's silent love letter came out earlier this week in the front of the Best Picture landscape (nailing down five Independent Spirit Award nominations and winning the New York Film Critics Circle's Best Picture prize), Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" has planted a flag in the race today by claiming the National Board of Review's prize for best film of the year.

The film also won the Best Director prize for Scorsese, and overall, I'm a bit surprised. But happily. I was worried for a moment there we might have a steamroller this season.

"The Artist" did manage to crack the NBR's top 10 list, which also included Best Picture hopefuls "The Descendants" and "War Horse," and somewhat surprisingly left room for Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" and Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." And the organization being the Clint Eastwood devotees that they are, "J. Edgar" naturally showed up, too.

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<p>Bruno Mars with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine on either side him, backstage at the 2011 Grammys Live concert announcing the 2012 Grammy Awards nominations Wednesday night in Los Angeles.</p>

Bruno Mars with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine on either side him, backstage at the 2011 Grammys Live concert announcing the 2012 Grammy Awards nominations Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Six Things You Didn't See on The Grammy Nominations Concert from Bruno Mars to the Band Perry

Jason Aldean on Hank Williams Jr., The Civil Wars on Taylor Swift and more

There was lots of action going on behind-the-scenes at the Grammy Nominations Concert. For what was happening on stage, check out Katie Hasty’s blog. Below, we bring you the good stuff you didn’t see on TV.

Bruno Mars was full of good-natured bluster after snagging six nominations (the man is on a roll: the newcomer had seven last year). When asked if he expect to receive such a bounty, he replied “Ye-ah. What do you think? I was doing it for fun?” After he finished laughing, he more seriously added,  “You know what, this awards stuff.. I’m trying to get used to it. It’s hard for me because [fellow album of the year nominees] Adele is incredible, Kayne West is incredible...The fact that this album got recognized and I’m being categorized with these acts, I guess that’s the craziest part for me because I’m a fan of all this music. I’m just trying to enjoy these little moments like this.”  “Grenade’s” nomination for song and record of the year was especially gratifying, he added, flanked by his fellow members in his production team, The Smeezingtons, because that was the song that we worked the hardest on. Out of all the songs that we were fortunate to be part of this year, we were the most proud of that one.”

Triple nominee Jason Aldean
was planning to throw down in his hometown in Georgia this weekend to celebrate his nods, but he admitted he remained a little baffled by events that happened earlier in the week. At Monday night’s taping for CMT's Artists of the Year special, honoree Aldean and Hank Williams Jr. were performing Aldean’s current hit, “Tattoos On This Town.” After one take, Bocephus walked off, never to return. In a non-explanation, he later issued a statement saying that he left because “it didn’t feel right, it didn’t sound right. I didn’t want to disrespect him.” We asked Aldean for his take: "I think when it comes to Hank, the only thing that you can predict about Hank is that he’s unpredictable,” he says. “I’m still a huge fan. He’s one of my idols, one of the guys that I grew up listening to. I’m a huge fan and, you know, it was a little weird, but it’s Hank Jr., what are you going to say?”

[More after the jump...]

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Credit: TNT

Watch the new trailer for 'Dallas' - if you can handle it

It's time for extra thick suds on TNT next summer

Okay, "Dallas" was never exactly "Masterpiece Theater." It was a big, soap drama set in Texas that ran for 13 seasons and was such a massive hit that the question of who shot J.R. inspired one fan to offer star Larry Hagman 1 million British pounds to reveal the answer (he didn't know). While primetime soaps haven't hit the same highs since, it's no shock that TNT is trying to update the formula. The trailer promises oil, infighting and the usual soapy goodness, if you're into that sort of thing.  

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<p>Young Jeezy's &quot;TM103&quot;</p>

Young Jeezy's "TM103"

Listen: Eminem helps out on Young Jeezy's 'Talk To Me,' feat. Freddie Gibbs

Jeezy has the starpower coming for 'TM:103'; does he have the rhymes?

Young Jeezy's new album is so most definitely coming no joke, and his newest track touts a very serious guest of starpower. Eminem joins Jeezy's CTE  label signee Freddie Gibbs on "Talk to Me," the latest track to arrive from "TM103."

It's a little slower of a jam than I was expecting, and it feels like Eminem's hook is carrying it more than it should. Drumma Boy's beat seems to require the ATL MC to drag it out, like he's still fitting out some syllables. Still, I think it may be a grower of epic proportions, much more than the rapper's collaboration with Jay-Z and Andre 3000 on "I Do" (though Andre was CUTTING IT UP).

"TM 103: Hustlerz Ambition" is out Dec. 20, now. Click here for more info on other guests.

Listen to the full track at Rap Radar.

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Taking questions for 12/2 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

As we await the National Board of Review announcement, let's go ahead and knock this out. Anne and I will of course be giving our thoughts on the NYFCC, Indie Spirits and NBR announcements, as well as the Gothams and probably a bit on "We Bought a Zoo." Tell us your need-to-knows outside of that and we'll try to address a few. Keep it interesting, stay away from stuff we've already covered, etc.

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Song Of The Day: Bowerbirds announce new album, bliss out in the 'Darkness'

North Carolinian lovebirds back with ambitious sound

The Bowerbirds are back with, literally, more electricity.

The indie-acoustic crew has increasingly plugged in on each album, with this new set "The Clearing" sounding like it will be no exception. The North Carolina-based couple-duo of Beth Tacular (spec-tacular!) and Phil Moore have unleashed the first view into the darkness -- that is, "Tuck the Darkness In," which provides about a minute and a half of guitar bliss at the end.

Bowerbirds' story is intriguing, considering they're absolutely 100% tree-hugging hippie Earth-love rural dwellers, and they are 0% obnoxious about it. Their lyrics have been consistently intelligent and uncloyingly endearing, with lots of natural imagery, like romantic poetry for ecological responsibility.

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<p>Zooey Deschanel has been Grammy-nominated for her musical contribution to &quot;Winnie the Pooh.&quot;</p>

Zooey Deschanel has been Grammy-nominated for her musical contribution to "Winnie the Pooh."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Grammy nods highlight original song contenders

Could Zooey Deschanel snag an Oscar nom for 'Winnie the Pooh?'

There's usually a fair amount of disparity between the Grammy nominations in the 'Visual Media' music categories and the choices of the Academy's music branch -- not least because they work on such different calendars. Still, with the Best Original Song race currently looking so sparse (seriously, just hand the Muppets their Oscar now and skip the formalities), we may as well take what signs we can get.

The Grammy race for Best Song Written for Visual Media highlights three eligible compositions I hadn't really thought to include in my predictions. I highly doubt the Academy will share Grammy voters' enthusiasm for Justin Bieber, and I'm not even sure how concert films would fare under their context-oriented voting system, but nevertheless, chalk up the Diane Warren-written "Born to be Somebody" from "Never Say Never" on the longlist.

Warren is also nominated in the category for Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" from "Burlesque," the song the Academy deemed less integral to its film than something Randy Newman scrawled on the back of a matchbook for "Toy Story 3," but why reopen old wounds?

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<p>&quot;House of Wax&quot;&nbsp;was one of the 3D films Martin&nbsp;Scorsese screened for his &quot;Hugo&quot;&nbsp;crew.</p>

"House of Wax" was one of the 3D films Martin Scorsese screened for his "Hugo" crew.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oscarweb Round-up: 3D homework from 'Hugo' director Martin Scorsese

Also: Sherak's plea to AMPAS members and the Gurus make more picks

Martin Scorsese is famous for giving his collaborators plenty of homework in preparation for his films. At a recent Q&A for "Hugo," production designer Dante Ferretti quipped through his thick Italian accent, "He made me watch a lot of movies." Everyone gave a knowing laugh. It's the Scorsese way. And it can always be interesting to note what films he picks to watch, either for his crew or for himself, when working on something. I always thought it was cool that he dug into "Once Upon a Time in the West" for "Gangs of New York," as there are definite thematic parallels. Anyway, the homework on "Hugo" was unique: 3D movies. He had his crew watch everything from the original "House of Wax" to "Dial M for Murder," with non-3D things like John Boulting's "The Magic Box" and the films of the Lumière brothers thrown in for good measure. []

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<p>The guys from &quot;Terriers&quot; still don't have a DVD, but they've come to Netflix.</p>

The guys from "Terriers" still don't have a DVD, but they've come to Netflix.

Credit: FX

'Terriers' comes to Netflix Instant, productivity says goodbye

Brilliant-but-canceled detective series still has no DVD set, but you can watch all the episodes

I have a lot of things I should be watching today for next week's reviews and podcast, yet I'm sorely tempted to devote the entire day to watching "Terriers" now that the brilliant-but-canceled FX detective drama has arrived on Netflix Instant.

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<p>Q'orianka Kilcher, Charlie Rowe and a CGI&nbsp;Tinkerbell in &quot;Neverland.&quot;</p>

Q'orianka Kilcher, Charlie Rowe and a CGI Tinkerbell in "Neverland."

Credit: Syfy

Review: Syfy's 'Neverland' takes the magic out of Peter Pan

Too much explaning, not enough entertaining in prequel miniseries
There's an old saying in showbiz that a magician never reveals his secrets. The magician obviously doesn't want to put himself out of work, but he also recognizes that, to an extent, the audience doesn't want to know how the trick works, because it's more fun on some level to accept that something magical just happened.
"Neverland," the latest Syfy re-imagining of a beloved public domain title (following 2007's "Tin Man" and 2009's "Alice," all directed by Nick Willing), isn't big on belief. In providing an origin story for Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Neverland itself, it wants you to know exactly how the magic works, how every trick is done, and why J.M. Barrie was foolish to not give everything a proper name, date and location.
It is, unsurprisingly, not the least bit fun.
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<p>Ben Stiller stole the show at the 2011 Britannia Awards. &nbsp;Someone get this man to host the Oscars. Please.</p>

Ben Stiller stole the show at the 2011 Britannia Awards.  Someone get this man to host the Oscars. Please.

Credit: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Ben Stiller's acceptance speech rules the 2012 Britannia Awards

Warren Beatty, Helena Bonham Carter, David Yates and John Lasseter also honored

No joke, the 2011 Britannia Awards have given movie fans and television viewers a reason to actually watch the TV Guide Network.  Taped at the Beverly Hilton Wednesday evening, BAFTA Los Angeles' biggest night honored Pixar guru John Lasseter, Helena Bonham Carter, director David Yates, Ben Stiller and the iconic Warren Beatty.  Alan Cumming hosted, stepping in for Stephen Fry who had MC'd the last few BAFTA's to critical acclaim (no pressure). Besides the honorees, the evening had lots of famous faces in the room including Morgan Freeman, Piers Morgan,  Anton Yelchin, Robin Williams to name a few, but the show makes TV Guide Network must watch (or must DVR) television for the great acceptance speeches by Carter and Stiller as well as some fantastic introductions by Jason Issacs (for Yates), Williams (Lasseter), Robert Downey, Jr. (Stiller), Oliver Platt (Beatty) and Barry Levinson (also Beatty). 

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Why was Van Halen MIA at the Grammy Nominations Concert?

Why was Van Halen MIA at the Grammy Nominations Concert?

Will the reunited band appear on the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards

So why was Van Halen a no-show at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live Tuesday night?

While the Recording Academy, to its credit, never uttered the words Van Halen, rumors had been flying that the band would announce its reunion on the show. In an October press release, the Academy touted that the TV show would “feature a special live announcement from a truly iconic group regarding their historic band reunion set to take place” at the Grammys.

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